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Value of modded 1977 Les Paul Custom

The_Pauley

New member
Joined
Mar 19, 2024
Messages
2
Hey there guys,

first post here.

I'm currently on the fence buying a 1977 Les Paul Custom. I already own two (1990, 2012), but would love to try one of those earlier Customs that came with T-Tops or Shaws. I love trying stuff, so it's often the case that I buy guitars and let them go soon after if I don't vibe with them. That's why I'd be interested in your opinions on the value of this 1977 model. As you can see, pretty beaten up and two mini toggle-switches installed ... frets are fine according to the seller, no breaks and pickups are original.

I think getting rid of those mini-switches and touching up the holes left wouldn't be a huge deal to do since it's finish is black and beaten up anyways. I'm based in Europe (where prices are sky-rocketing), seller is asking for 3400€ but I'm confident to get him down to like 3200€ shipped to me.

What do you guys think?
 

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ngjenkins

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2024
Messages
14
So, I own a '79 Custom that looks almost identical to this (though it's in better shape). Here are my thoughts so you can add this into your equation.

1. I absolutely love the neck on this thing. It's my favorite LP neck I've ever played, hands down. I like 60s style thinner/smaller necks and this one is terrific. I even really like the volute. It's very comfortable for me.
2. This guitar is ridiculously heavy (almost 14 lbs). It's why I'm considering selling mine. I can't stand and play it for too long and putting it on a wall hanger worries me.
3. I haven't played any other T-Tops, but the ones in this guitar are some of the worst sounding pickups when overdriven I've ever played. They are thin and brittle. Clean they generally sound fine, but I struggle to get a useable breakup tone.
4. I can't get used to the flat frets. This is probably more about me than the guitar, but they drive me crazy. I thought I'd get used to them, but I just can't seem to.
5. Interestingly, mine also has one mini-switch added after-market. But it's not actually wired to anything. *shrug*

I got mine at $4,000.00 USD (about 3,200€). But if I had to do it over again, I'd rather have spent that money on something lighter with different pickups.
 

SpencerD

Active member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
910
That's a Norlin for sure. Gonna be heavy. Like real heavy.

That's something to consider IMO
 

Wilko

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Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,864
IMNSHO, 76-82 are the worst years for a Les Paul Custom. Way too heavy, crappy neck joint that make them "duds" tonewise. Pickups are weak and thin sounding.

Lame top carve. I had a '76. Never got along with it. Put in two Seymour Duncan JB's with mini switches for series/parallel per 70s style.
 

GlassSnuff

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Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Messages
3,676
First off, I don't mind a guitar that's been used, but that guitar has scratches in places that suggest it was not well loved.

Secondly, I agree with our NSH Wilko. Early '70s with a mahogany neck, okay. Later '70s with a maple neck... not for rock and roll.

As far as "T-Tops" go... they were the reason Seymour Duncan and Larry DiMarzio were able to build a business making alternative pickups. No, they're not "the next best thing to PAFs". They may have followed them, but they were a drastic turn in the wrong direction. You'll notice Gibson isn't making pancake bodies anymore, either. ;)

So yeh, too much money for something you'll soon tire of.
 

ADP

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Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
691
Early 70’s were pancake body. This one and later are one piece. These guitars rock. Who knows where you got your information from...
 

Wilko

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Mar 11, 2002
Messages
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Early 70’s were pancake body. This one and later are one piece. These guitars rock. Who knows where you got your information from...
Pancake bodies went well into '79 on many of these.
 

CK6

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Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
453
I used to own one, but sold it recently. They’re cool guitars but I’d wait & get one that hasn’t been modded…

Mine was stock and sounded just fine over-driven…..



I sold mine for around €3500.

Hope this helps
 

GlassSnuff

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Messages
3,676
These guitars rock. Who knows where you got your information from...
My information is from Gibson. I used to sell these guitars. I also own one. ;)

I'm sorry to hear your guitar has a short tenon.
 
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RhinestoneStrat

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Aug 27, 2019
Messages
272
😩

d15b8fe2b057d6c84e2e5d204618de0b.jpg
 

charliechitlins

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Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
1,047
That is a cool looking guitar.
I took a mini toggle out of my Lester and at 60mph, you can't see the repair.
Those frets look mighty little and low to me.
I suspect many folks wouldn't have liked them on their best day.
 
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ngjenkins

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2024
Messages
14
That is a cool looking guitar.
I took a mini toggle out of my Lester and at 60mph, you can't see the repair.
Those frets look mighty little and low to me.
I suspect many folks wouldn't have liked them on their best day.
I'm considering refretting my 79. I want to be clear that these low/flat frets WORK. I just don't like the feel. Add to it that I have a pretty aggressive picking hand which can create problems.

And I think a side issue is that the nut is cut SO LOW to work with these frets that I'll probably need a new nut as well.

I don't think these issues are good or bad. Rather they're just something that I've learned after owning the guitar for a while.
 

charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
1,047
I'm considering refretting my 79. I want to be clear that these low/flat frets WORK. I just don't like the feel. Add to it that I have a pretty aggressive picking hand which can create problems.

And I think a side issue is that the nut is cut SO LOW to work with these frets that I'll probably need a new nut as well.

I don't think these issues are good or bad. Rather they're just something that I've learned after owning the guitar for a while.
Anytime you refret, you need a new nut.
If it's a vintage guitar (or if you're a little lazy like me) and you want to use the original nut, you can shim it up.
 

knightforce

New member
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
6
So, I own a '79 Custom that looks almost identical to this (though it's in better shape). Here are my thoughts so you can add this into your equation.

1. I absolutely love the neck on this thing. It's my favorite LP neck I've ever played, hands down. I like 60s style thinner/smaller necks and this one is terrific. I even really like the volute. It's very comfortable for me.
2. This guitar is ridiculously heavy (almost 14 lbs). It's why I'm considering selling mine. I can't stand and play it for too long and putting it on a wall hanger worries me.
3. I haven't played any other T-Tops, but the ones in this guitar are some of the worst sounding pickups when overdriven I've ever played. They are thin and brittle. Clean they generally sound fine, but I struggle to get a useable breakup tone.
4. I can't get used to the flat frets. This is probably more about me than the guitar, but they drive me crazy. I thought I'd get used to them, but I just can't seem to.
5. Interestingly, mine also has one mini-switch added after-market. But it's not actually wired to anything. *shrug*

I got mine at $4,000.00 USD (about 3,200€). But if I had to do it over again, I'd rather have spent that money on something lighter with different pickups.
That is why they were called the Fretless Wonders back then. :)
 

Jethro Rocker

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
284
I have a 76 Custom,,pancake body, essentially mint condition. Even the gold hardware has little wear. I got it in 2020 for around 5k Cdn. Things have gone up since but seems a bit pricey, to me.
I have a 57+ Classic to try in it.
 
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